A few hours ago Diamond, my pet parrot (Bronze Winged Pionus, nearly 2 years old) bolted out the front door. I say "ran away" because he wasn't lost or spooked, but appears to have deliberately left in a very uncharacteristic action.

I know intelligent pets, of any species, can do that. Cats are nomadic by nature and it's no mystery that one might just feel like moving on. Dogs are territorial and strongly attached to the home and the family. When I was a child my dog sometimes got loose but it's more like she just wanted to stay out or run around more than I did, not ever going away. My sister had one dog that would get loose at any opportunity but was interested in roaming the neighborhood and was once caught (by the pound dog catcher) next door. Hey, the fact that a job called "dog catcher" even exists is suggestive.

Diamond, a parrot, lives in the house and never goes outside. He tends to keep to a few comfortable areas and doesn't just hang out or explore just anywhere: his habitat in the kitchen, the back of one couch, and a laundry drying rack (also in the kitchen). He'll sit on my shoulder, but doesn't like to join me upstairs in my home office. He never mooches or grabs food from somewhere even if plainly visible. But, flying a lap around the connected rooms downstairs is how he indicates that he wants food (or something different from what's already in his dish). I thought maybe it's instinctive in meaning that flying away from a food-depleted area to some fresh ground is a natural meaning to coordinate the flock. But, he only does that in front of me (or my wife), not whe I'm upstairs. He is getting attention by buzzing us, not getting the urge to go somewhere. (When we're not downstairs he will call for attention).

So what would posess him to just fly out the door? That is so not like him! My wife was coming upmthe walk with groceries and I opened it just as she got on the porch. Diamond was in his "castle", his primary safe place, and he just up and whoosh. I thought he must be coming to one of us, but he flew over and past her, not targeting her. Then I thought he must be just outside, scared of a strange situation: but he was nowhere to be found.

Why would a in-house pet just up and leave, against everything in his usual behavioral patterns?

  • 6
    I believe this was downvoted because it's an unanswerable question - there are many reasons why a pet might run away, and there's no way for us to specifically know which applies. As for your parrot, it could be as simple as 'he wanted to fly around outside' or it could be more complicated.
    – Piper
    Apr 18, 2015 at 13:16
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    This question may be unanswerable from expert point of view. You may be able to address specifics to your case. If you happen to live in forest and woodland in north-western South America than it is very likely a girl parrot called him. Actually that is fairly likely most places in the world. Apr 20, 2015 at 18:33
  • I wonder if the 2-year-old mark would trigger some instinct to leave home? As for "just wanting to" something so uncharacteristic, he normally is shy about unfamiliar places (as is the nature of the species). Re local population of parrots: I wonder if some kind of local organization would know what's living in this area?
    – JDługosz
    Apr 21, 2015 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


This question is nearly unanswerable, as he could want to go outside for plenty of reasons, but I'll try.

Pets are just like humans, they can change, he might of just gotten used to your certain area and wanted to move on, or something you don't know of could've frightened him to run outside, maybe the sound of your wife coming in scared him?

There's probably thousands of reasons this could happen, but as we weren't there, we can't really help you answer this.

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